WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the sun sets on 2005, there are a number of people and events worthy of mention and remembrance -- some good, some not so good. It is also that time of year when we must make our resolutions for the coming year. And since I'm in the business of giving unsolicited advice, herewith are a few suggestions to those who may or may not need them.
First, congratulations must be offered to the Iraqi people along with a respectful suggestion that they resolve to stay strong and continue the astounding progress they are making in transforming their country from a brutal dictatorship to a working democracy. In the course of 12 months in 2005, Iraqis braved terrorist threats and persistent pessimism from the press to go to the polls and show that democratic government is a viable alternative to the violence we have witnessed in that part of the world for too long.
All year, the determination of the Iraqis and the brilliance of our troops were denounced by the likes of Howard Dean -- the leader of the Democrat Party -- who should resolve to become more optimistic about America and our troops. Just a week before the Iraqis held their most recent, historic, peaceful elections, Dean was speaking to WOIA Radio in San Antonio, Texas, and predicted that America would lose the war in Iraq. "The idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq," Dean explained, "is an idea which is just plain wrong."
And speaking of being "just plain wrong," there are two prominent liberals who, in 2006, should resolve to take refresher courses in American history so they don't continue to impugn the character of our service members and our country. After correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported that Iran's new president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have been one of the terrorists who held Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, NBC News anchor Brian Williams responded, "Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. Presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all."
As bad as that remark was, it was topped by Senator Dick Durbin, who accused U.S. troops serving at Guantanamo Bay of war crimes, saying their treatment of terrorist prisoners resembled that "done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime -- Pol Pot, or others." In addition to the remedial history lessons, Durbin should resolve to make the sincere apology he never made.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is another liberal Democrat who should resolve to think before he speaks. Within hours of Hurricane Katrina's devastation, while hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast were mourning dead family members, Kennedy blamed it all on Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. "Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged," Kennedy suggested.
Of course, liberals can't accept the fact that the Big Government bureaucracy that they worship let them down during Hurricane Katrina. Which brings us to rapper Kanye West, who should resolve to stick to the script. He failed to do so during a televised charity fundraiser for Katrina victims and instead accused the president of racism, saying, President Bush "doesn't care about black people."
Of course the president grieved the loss of life caused by Katrina. And 2005 also saw its share of celebrity deaths -- including TV host Johnny Carson, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, and Sen. Eugene McCarthy. But no passing was mourned more than that of Poland's Karol Wojtyla, better known as Pope John Paul II. Laid to rest on April 8 in a crypt below Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City, the pontiff's funeral was seen by more than one billion Catholics around the world and attended by kings, presidents, prime ministers, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Protestants. Corporate executives and craven politicians should resolve to ignore anti-Christian activists who want to expunge religion from the public square and American culture.
Along those lines, Hollywood producers should resolve to make more movies like Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," and "The Chronicles of Narnia," -- which appeal to middle America -- and make fewer cinematic screeds about twinkle-toed cowboys with lavender lassos.
Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore should resolve to make a documentary on liberal hypocrisy -- and he can start with himself. After making his name by bashing corporate America, it was revealed by Peter Schweizer's new book "Do As I Say, (Not as I Do)," that Moore owns thousands of shares of stock in Halliburton -- the company that liberals love to hate, especially Moore, who lambasted the company in his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resolve to do what he always has done -- ignore his critics. Every few months, the "enlightened" Washington press corps writes Rumsfeld's political obituary only to have to update it months later with the accomplishments he's achieved in the interim.
President Bush should resolve to fight in 2006 like he fought the last month of 2005 -- with courage and conviction. After months of letting his critics get the better of him, he decided to engage them, and in some cases, go over their heads directly to the people. Surprise, surprise -- his poll numbers improved.
The soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines of the U.S. military should resolve to keep doing exactly what they are doing -- defending American citizens and doing so with pride and honor. And the public should resolve to do even more to support those who are sacrificing so much for our country.
As for me, I resolve to be less opinionated in the New Year -- a resolution I vow to keep at least until my next column. Happy New Year.